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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX injury lawyerAn early morning crash near the intersection of Hwy 290 and RM 1826 killed one person after an SUV failed to obey posted signs and turned left into traffic. The SUV was exiting a private drive, and while only right turns are permissible from that driveway, the SUV driver turned left, cutting across several lanes. Another driver, in a silver sedan, swerved to avoid a collision with the SUV but wound up being struck again. The sedan driver was killed at the scene, and while the SUV driver was cited (a misdemeanor), it is not implausible that the family of the sedan driver might want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, given that but for the SUV driver’s negligence, their loved one might still be alive.

Wrongful Death in Texas

Wrongful death is a cause of action under civil law (as opposed to criminal law; wrongful death is not a crime). In a wrongful death lawsuit, a deceased person’s loved ones are seeking to hold the defendant liable for their role in causing that person’s death and may receive money damages if they are successful. Texas law states that a person should be liable for damages if that person’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused an injury that led to the death of the deceased.

Wrongful death cases are decided based on a legal theory of negligence, meaning that to prevail, a plaintiff has to show three things. They must show that the defendant breached the duty to exercise reasonable care in their actions, they must show that they suffered harm because of that failure and that there was no other cause for their injuries - that the defendant’s conduct was the sole reason for them happening. This is not always easy to establish, especially in multi-car accidents, but it is far from impossible.

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TX injury lawyerOn the night of August 10, a serious vehicle crash on San Antonio’s far west side killed one and sent four to the hospital with life-threatening and critical injuries. A young woman was arrested and later charged with intoxication manslaughter and assault, but there have also been unsubstantiated rumors that the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death suit against her. If you are unfortunate enough to lose a loved one in a car crash, it is important to understand your options in terms of seeking compensation for your loss.

Two Types of Wrongful Death

Under Texas law, there are two types of wrongful death lawsuits, though only one type may generally be brought in any one case. A standard wrongful death action, alleging negligence and seeking compensation for a defendant’s conduct in causing the death, can be brought only by certain specific family members of the deceased person - in all but the rarest exceptions, the spouse, parents, and children are the only ones who can bring suit. This does exclude siblings and other family members, which can be unfair, but the state’s rationale is that restricting the ability to bring suit to immediate family can help minimize opportunism (that is, bringing suit on behalf of a relative who played no role in that person’s life and whose passing did not truly injure the person).

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TX injury lawyerOn July 4, a massive crash sent three people, including a child, to the hospital as an SUV making a left turn onto East Cheryl Drive pushed a sedan into a light pole. The sedan driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other driver and two passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. While as of this writing, no charges have been filed, it is very possible that the SUV driver could face a wrongful death suit if they are fortunate enough to recover from their own injuries.

Wrongful Death in Texas

Texas has a very comprehensive wrongful death statute, allowing for two different possible causes of action, depending on the nature of the death involved. A wrongful death action is a claim in negligence law that is brought against the person alleged to have caused the death, for actual damages and in rare cases, for what are called exemplary or punitive damages. Actual damages are damages that stem directly from a death, such as loss of companionship or quality of life, general mental anguish, medical or care bills, and funeral expenses.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

Texas injury lawyerOn February 8, a pedestrian trying to cross RM 620 at Briarwood Street in Round Rock was struck and killed. The car did not stop, and the pedestrian died at the scene. While the driver, if ever located, will likely face criminal charges, they might also be subject to a wrongful death lawsuit by any surviving family, or by the man’s estate. There are potential complications, however, depending on the specific nature of the situation.

Pedestrians Are Most at Risk

Generally, there is no one on the road that is at a higher risk of injury on Texas roads than pedestrians, for obvious reasons and also for reasons that might not be as readily apparent. Pedestrians obviously have less protection in the event of an accident, but they also are not able to access the tools for avoiding an accident that drivers have. For example, more and more electric cars are appearing on roads in recent years, which are advantageous for the environment but are much more dangerous for pedestrians due to their quiet operation.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

Texas accident lawyerOn December 5, 2017, a young man was struck by a car as he tried to cross I-35, later dying in a Round Rock hospital. Originally thought to be in his 20s, the young man turned out to be only 15 years old. While obviously the young man’s passing is a tragedy, it highlights the danger to pedestrians when they attempt to cross busy streets, and the potential consequences for both they and the drivers involved in such accidents.

The Dangers of I-35

While obviously, any road can be dangerous, I-35 has a reputation for being exceedingly hazardous, for a multitude of reasons. It has consistently been voted one of the most congested highways in the state, and ranks in the top 10 or 20 in many lists of the busiest roads nationwide. The more traffic on a highway, as one might imagine, the higher the amount of accidents generally, and usually a higher number of casualties will result. This can often be doubly true for the occurrence of accidents involving pedestrians and smaller vehicles like motorcycles - neither has anywhere near as much protection as a car or truck driver does from injury during an accident.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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